Vegetarian Pad Thai is a stir-fried dish from Thailand made with rice noodles, vegetables and flavored with Thai sauces & spices. The dish is a favorite street food in Thailand and is also commonly served at most of the restaurants. It has now become quite popular throughout the world as well.
Pad Thai is generally made with soaked dried rice noodles, cooked with some form of meat. But for the vegetarian version of Pad Thai the noodles are tossed with tofu, various vegetables and spices.
I have added shallots, spring onions, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, bok choy and bean sprouts in this recipe. These vegetables have a crispy crunchy texture and are a perfect addition to this dish. You can also add other vegetables like baby corn, snap peas etc.
The addition of tofu along with a large quantity of veggies makes this dish high in nutrients like protein and various minerals and vitamins.
Sauces and spices used for Pad Thai
The main flavor of Pad Thai comes from the addition of Garlic, Tamarind paste, Soy Sauce, Chilli Paste and Lemon Juice. Traditionally the recipe calls for Fish Sauce and Oyster sauce, but Soy sauce works well enough as a substitute in this case.
Another important ingredient for the recipe is brown sugar. This combined with the above mentioned ingredients gives Pad Thai its uniquely sweet, spicy & tangy flavor.
Tips for making a great Pad Thai
To prepare this dish, vegetables and noodles cooked at high heat to get a crisp texture and smoky flavor. The addition of various sweet, sour and spicy sauces imparts a unique and delicious flavor to this dish.
Since the dish is cooked on high heat, it is very important to keep all the ingredients ready before you start cooking, to ensure that the vegetables do not get burnt while cooking.
It is also important to add the vegetables in the correct order, based on the time needed to cook them. Vegetables like shallots, onions, broccoli, carrots etc. should be cooked before, whereas bok choy and bean sprouts should be added towards the end to preserve their crunchy texture.
Pad Thai is generally served hot with some bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, lime wedges and chilli flakes on the side.
It is a very pleasing dish and can be made very quickly. It makes a great sumptuous weekend dinner and is best accompanied by soup and fresh cut salad.
To make Vegetarian Pad Thai recipe at home follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.
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Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe
Ingredients For Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe
For the pad thai
- 250 gm Rice Noodles (banh pho)
- 1/2 Cup Tofu extra firm or firm
- 1/2 Cup Broccoli Florets
- 1 Carrot (Gajar)
- 1 Cup Colored Capsicum (Green, Red, Yellow Bell Peppers)
- 1 Cup Bok Choy Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Bean sprouts
- 1 Shallot
- 4 Spring Onions or Chinese Chives
- 3-4 Cloves of Garlic
- ~1 Inch Piece of Ginger
- 2-3 Red Thai Chillies
- 1/2 Cup Coriander Leaves (Cilantro or Dhaniya)
- 2 Tablespoons Crushed Peanuts
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Red Chilli Flakes
- 2 Teaspoon Salt, or according to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
For the sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Palm or Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Tamarind pulp
- 1 Tablespoons Chili Paste (Sambal Oelek) or Sriracha
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
Step By Step Instructions for Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe
Preparing the sauce
- To prepare the sauce mixture, add some brown sugar, tamarind paste and chili paste in a small mixing bowl.2 Tablespoons Palm or Brown Sugar, 2 Tablespoons Tamarind pulp, 1 Tablespoons Chili Paste (Sambal Oelek) or Sriracha
- Then add the soy sauce and salt to the mixture.2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce, 2 Teaspoon Salt, or according to taste
- Stir till the sugar is completely dissolved to make a smooth sauce. You can prepare this in a slightly heated pan to quicken the process.
Cooking the noodles
- Add rice noodles to hot boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Optional: You can add one tablespoon of oil to water. It prevents noodles from sticking to one another.250 gm Rice Noodles (banh pho)
- When the noodles are 75% cooked, removed them from the heat, drain the hot water and set them aside. The noodles should be almost cooked but still slightly crunchy to the bite.
Preparing the pad thai
- Wash & prepare the vegetables. Thinly slice the shallots and carrots. Dice the spring onions and broccoli into small pieces. Also chop bell peppers and bok choy (not shown in pic here).1/2 Cup Broccoli Florets, 1 Carrot (Gajar), 1 Cup Colored Capsicum (Green, Red, Yellow Bell Peppers), 1 Shallot, 4 Spring Onions or Chinese Chives, 1 Cup Bok Choy Leaves
- Dice the tofu into 1 inch cubes and shallow fry in a pan till it turns golden brown. Remove the tofu & set it aside.1/2 Cup Tofu
- Add some oil in a large pan. Turn the heat to high and add finely chopped ginger, garlic and Thai red chillies to the pan.3-4 Cloves of Garlic, ~1 Inch Piece of Ginger, 2-3 Red Thai Chillies
- Add the shallots and spring onions to the pan. Sauté on high heat for 2-3 minutes till the onions start browning slightly.
- Then add chopped broccoli & carrots and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add diced colored bell peppers (capsicum) and cook on high heat for a few minutes.
- Then add roughly chopped bok choy. Bok Choy cooks really fast and should be added towards the end when other vegetables are almost cooked.
- Add the sauce mixture prepared previously to the vegetables.
- Mix to coat the vegetables with the sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the boiled rice noodles to the pan.
- Mix the noodles with the vegetables and sauces. Take care not to mash the noodles too much.
- Add bean sprouts to the noodles and mix.1/2 Cup Bean sprouts
- Also add the fried tofu prepared earlier to the noodles.
- Next add some crushed peanuts. Mix everything well.2 Tablespoons Crushed Peanuts
- Sprinkle some lime juice along with chopped coriander leaves.2 Tablespoons Lime Juice, 1/2 Cup Coriander Leaves (Cilantro or Dhaniya)
- Pad Thai is ready. Serve it hot along with some bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, chilli flakes and lime wedges on the side.
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